SM Entertainment’s artists will officially be joining Weverse, a mobile app and web-based superfan platform operated by rival K-pop company HYBE, next week.
Weverse is a global fan community platform for various K-pop artists to interact with their fans and share content such as photos, videos, and messages.
On the Weverse platform, fans can participate in discussions, access exclusive content, and receive updates from their favorite artists and groups. They can also purchase merchandise through the Weverse Shop and sign up to the official fan club service Weverse membership.
Weverse announced on its social media platforms that 13 SM artists will be joining the app on Tuesday (September 12). The artists include SNSD, Red Velvet and aespa, boy band TVXQ!, Super Junior, SHINee, EXO, NCT 127, NCT Dream, Way V and Riize and soloists Kangta and BoA, Weverse said in a press release cited by Korean media.
These artists will transfer from SM’s proprietary fan platform Kwangya Club to Weverse on September 12.
Korea JoongAng Daily said fan club memberships that users purchased from Kwangya Club will be automatically transferred to Weverse as Kwangya Club will end its services on Monday (September 11).
“We welcome SM artists who are loved around the world and fans who love them to join Weverse.”
Choi Jun-won, Weverse
The move, however, does not affect ‘’bubble,’ a platform operated by SM subsidiary Dear U, which allows users to send private messages to artists for a monthly subscription fee.
“We welcome SM artists who are loved around the world and fans who love them to join Weverse,” Weverse CEO Choi Jun-won was quoted by The Korea Herald as saying.
“With the entry of these SM artists into Weverse, we have grown rapidly, exceeding 100 million downloads and 10 million MAU… We expect Weverse’s global expansion to accelerate further,” the executive added.
News of SM artists joining Weverse was first reported in April, following an announcement from Kakao, which became SM’s largest shareholder after an intense corporate battle with HYBE.
Following that saga, HYBE agreed to work with SM in the fan ‘platform sector’, according to Soompi.
The latest move comes as HYBE’s Weverse platform continue to attract users. By July, the platform’s monthly active users surpassed 10 million, with the app generating over 100 million downloads.
Weverse launched a range of new features for fans during the second quarter including a payment method called Jellywhich allows users to buy ‘premium VODs [video-on-demands]’ on the platform; Weaver DM, a private messeging service that allows fans to send and receive private messages to/from artists that they subscribe to; and Fan Letterwhich enables fans to write and send “heartfelt letters” to their favorite artists.
Korea JoongAng Daily reported last month that HYBE is looking to launch a subscription-based paid membership service for Weverse by next year, indicating the company’s plans to monetize its artists’ superfans.
In the second quarter, HYBE’s “fan club” earnings, including from Weverse, rose 29.4% year over year to KRW 21.82 billion (USD $16.4 million). The company’s overall revenue during the quarter surged 21.2% YoY to KRW 620.99 billion ($464.9m)
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